Paterno legacy tough to fathom, but real
STATE COLLEGE, Pa.
The idea hit Eric Bress and Allie Menna as soon as they saw the path for Joe Paterno’s processional: What if Paterno’s fans linked arms along the path, from, say, the library to Paterno’s statue outside the football stadium, as his body was driven through on the way to the cemetery? So they started a campaign on Facebook entitled “Guide Joe Paterno home.’’
The idea caught fire. In the end, people lined both sides of the street, arm in arm, and it extended all the way downtown.
"He’s done so much for this school," Bress said Thursday at the Hub, the student union, where another Paterno ceremony was shown on large TVs. "Everyone just wanted to catch a glimpse."
Yes. But how do you resolve all he had done in his career with the way it all ended for Paterno, in disgrace?
"It’s mixed emotions," Bress said. "In the end, it was the right move to fire him. You can’t just hide from something like that."
There is just such contradiction, confusion and conflict surrounding Paterno. Even the guy who arranged a touching tribute thinks they had to fire him.
And how about the school’s contradiction? Penn State officials fired Paterno for not living up to his moral responsibilities, not using his power to make sure that Jerry Sandusky stopped his alleged rapes and sexual assaults on kids. They even banned Paterno’s wife, Sue, from going on her early-morning swims in a school pool. Then, Penn State arranged for a week of celebrations for Paterno after he died of lung cancer.